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Current U.S. Student

United States citizens who are currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs are eligible to apply.If you are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a U.S. college or university, you will apply through that institution, even if you are not currently a resident there. Find the Fulbright Program Adviser on your campus.

U.S. Citizen but not a Student

If you are a U.S. citizen, will hold a bachelor’s degree by the award start date, and do not have a Ph.D. degree, then you are eligible to apply. Non-enrolled applicants should have relatively limited professional experience in the fields (typically 7 years or less) in which they are applying. Candidates with more experience should consider applying for the Fulbright Scholar Program.

The Getting Started page will provide information on eligibility and next steps.


The Fulbright U.S. Student Program welcomes applications in the creative and performing arts. Arts candidates for the U.S. Student Program should have relatively limited professional experience in the fields (typically 7 years or less) in which they are applying. Artists with more experience should consider applying for the Fulbright Scholar Program.

Creative & Performing Arts projects fall under the Study/Research grant category and are available in all countries where Study/Research grants are offered.


U.S. Professor/Administrator

If you are a U.S. citizen and a professor or administrator at a U.S. institution and are interested in applying for a Fulbright Scholar Award, you will need to apply through

To support your students in applying for a U.S. Student Program award, please connect with the Fulbright Program Adviser at your institution.

Non U.S. Citizens

If you are a non-U.S. citizen interested in applying for a Fulbright Award to the United States, you will need to apply through the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in your home country. Find out more information on the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program or Fulbright Foreign Student Program.

New Zealand

6 Open Study/Research Award

Accepted Degree Levels
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • Doctoral
Grant Period
February Start
Grant Length
6-10 Months
Award Type
Open Study/Research
Fulbright Graduate Degree Grants
  • Yes
Award Profile

The Fulbright New Zealand U.S. Open Study/Research Awards are for U.S. students to undertake postgraduate study or research at New Zealand institutions. Grantees are selected on the basis of academic excellence, leadership potential, and ambassadorial qualities.

Grant Length
6-10 Months
Grant Period
February Start

Grantees arrive in New Zealand in late January/early February 2026 and must participate in the orientation program offered by the Fulbright Commission prior to the beginning of the New Zealand academic year. Grantees must also participate fully in the June report-back and awards event, the end-of-year final report and dinner, and must provide to the Fulbright Commission copies of any articles, research papers, or theses completed while in New Zealand.

In-Country Orientation

Grantees must participate in the orientation program offered by the Fulbright Commission. This orientation provides an introduction to New Zealand society, culture, politics, and history, and offers useful information on the academic environment and the Fulbright program.

Candidate Profile

Applicants may wish to either: a) enroll in a graduate degree program at a New Zealand university; b) carry out research towards a U.S. graduate degree; or, c) carry out an independent study/research project while being affiliated with a New Zealand higher education or research institution. Applicants currently pursuing U.S. doctoral degrees must indicate in their applications how their intended research in New Zealand will contribute to their doctoral programs. Applicants must clearly articulate their future plans, and express a compelling reason for coming to New Zealand for their research, as opposed to any other country. Applicants must clearly specify the wider impact of their project, and how it will enhance the relationship between the two countries.

While applicants proposing independent study/research will be considered, preference will be given to those proposing graduate degree enrollment or research toward a US PhD.

Due to the hands-off nature of independent research in New Zealand, undergraduate/recent graduates proposing independent research must have the academic maturity, rigor, and depth of knowledge to work independently without close guidance from their supervisor. They must be 18 by the start of their grant, and exhibit a high level of subject knowledge and personal/academic initiative. Applicants must also articulate a clear plan and outcome for their research. It is still important that grantees have strong support from their host institution and supervisor.

What is life like for Fulbrighters in the host country?

Fulbrighters are immersed in a country of unparalleled beauty and friendly people with a myriad of outdoor activities and vibrant city life at their fingertips. During academic breaks, weekends and public holidays, grantees have opportunities to engage with New Zealand’s culture and history via museums, galleries, performances, national parks, sporting events, libraries, restaurants, cafes and much more. Fulbright NZ is a hands-on commission and grantees will receive ongoing support throughout their time in New Zealand. Fulbrighters sometimes find academic settings to be less formal in New Zealand and it is therefore beneficial to be self-motivated students and researchers. Contact hours for graduate programs at NZ universities are estimated to be approximately 8 hours per week.

Residency in host country NOT permitted in year prior to grant
Indicate how many months is considered residency:
1 Month
Dual citizens of this country are NOT eligible

Preference for Fulbright graduate awards is given to candidates who have not previously had extensive recent experience in New Zealand (ie. have not studied, taught, researched or worked in New Zealand for a period aggregating more than nine months/one academic year during the past five years).

Degree Level of Applicant
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • Doctoral
Foreign Language Proficiency
Not Required

*Applicants considering Māori, indigenous, or culturally-specific projects may benefit from some beginner Te Reo Māori language study prior to arrival. This is not a requirement but would be an added advantage.

Fulbright Proposal Types
Independent Study/Research:
Graduate Degree Enrollment:
Independent Study/Research:
Letter required for independent study or research at deadline
Graduate Degree Enrollment:
Letter required at deadline

All applicants must be affiliated with an accredited higher education or research institution in New Zealand. Applicants are expected to find their own affiliations and must include affiliation letters in their Fulbright applications. The Fulbright Commission helps awarded grantees confirm the terms and conditions of the affiliation only after they are selected.

Affiliation Fees/Tuition
Affiliation Fees/Tuition covered in grant benefits

Tuition for grantees enrolling at New Zealand universities is paid up to a capped amount by the Fulbright Commission in New Zealand during the period of the grant. Please see Fulbright New Zealand's website for further details.

For grantees doing independent study/research projects, the Fulbright Commission may still need to pay tuition fees to the host institute to ensure access to facilities. Grantees who are taking up a research grant and whose host institution does not require any tuition fees or laboratory costs will not be paid out of unused tuition funds toward independent research goals.

Award Benefits
  • A stipend broadly based on the cost of living in the host country. These funds may be used by the grantee to support housing, meals, and incidental costs during the grant period.
  • International travel benefits
  • Accident & sickness health benefits
  • 24/7 mental health support line for urgent and non-urgent situations
  • 12 months of non-competitive eligibility (NCE) hiring status within the federal government
Stipend Amount

This is an estimated amount and is subject to change. The financial terms of the grant will be confirmed in the grant document issued after selection.

$3,000 monthly stipend amount in
$ [New Zealand Dollar]

Grantees are provided stipends for up to 44 weeks, which covers the period of one academic year. The stipend consists of NZ$750 per week, paid fortnightly.

One-Time Allowances

This is an estimated amount and is subject to change. The financial terms of the grant will be confirmed in the grant document issued after selection.

$1,000 in
$ [New Zealand Dollar]
  • Settling in allowance

Grantees will receive a single establishment fee payment at the start of their award.

Estimated Cost of Living

Consider using cost of living comparison websites to gain a better understanding of the potential costs in your host country.

As with most countries, the cost of living in New Zealand varies depending on location and expectations around levels of comfort. Grantees can expect higher costs of living in larger urban areas such as Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, however, those residing in these larger metropolitan areas can allay some costs by house or flat sharing. Fulbright alumni have reported that the cost of food is often higher in New Zealand when compared to the United States.

For more detailed information about the cost of living in New Zealand, applicants are encouraged to review information online for the particluar centre where they intend to be based. For example, information about the cost of living in Christchurch can be found at

Dependent financial support is NOT available
Housing Arrangements

Housing arrangements are the responsibility of the grantee. 

Fulbright Program Management Contact
Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website
Field of Study Considerations

Māori are the tangata whenua of New Zealand. As a Treaty partner and a priority population, it is critical that candidates proposing research involving or relevant to Māori demonstrate cultural sensitivity in their application, propose a project that is respectful of Tikanga Māori, and preference amongst proposals on this subject may be given to candidates with experience developing projects in similar contexts.

Such candidates must be familiar with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. Candidates proposing a project related to Māori must discuss with their proposed host institution the relevant policies and procedures in place related to consultations with Māori. Both items should be addressed within the Fulbright application.

Fulbright New Zealand specifically requests that under no circumstances applicants reach out to Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga about project ideas, without first having spoken to Fulbright New Zealand about the appropriateness of the project.

Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Contact
Programme Manager :